Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sheep, goats and evening sky.

Last night after I milked the goats, I let the sheep out there with them. I saw this beautiful evening sky. Isn't it awesome?

Then I went out to the garden. I noticed all the sunflowers were facing west, following the sun. All except the one flower that had already bloomed. Maybe it was too heavy to turn?

And this morning, they are all facing east again.Just amazing.

Happy hump day y'all!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


I finally got the comfrey planted. I was trying to figure out where to put it because I was told they can take over pretty quick. So I had put them up under this cedar tree since I got them. They seemed to do well there. It's shaded most of the day and I read they don't like full sun. But can handle it if watered well. So decided to put them right here. I was going to buy some good soil but realized I have the best soil ever right here in the chicken-sheep yard. It's amazing stuff. I used some to plant the mints and rosemary in in the trough planter. And they are doing great. I also got 2 surprise tomato plants growing in with them!

I put this fencing up to keep the chickens out til they get established. I know they will grow huge and spread, so I'll have to see which way they go.

This is the soil from the sheep manure and chicken manure plus old hay the chickens are composting for me. I have 2 stalls that look like this, plus the chicken coop too.

Can't wait to start using this amazing plant. I'll make salves and soap with it. Plus let the animals have some too. Supposed to be really good for them.

Monday, August 1, 2016

1st sunflower!

I was out milking the other morning, and noticed this beautiful sunflower in the garden. The first one so far! I love sunflowers. I have really babied these guys too. Watered them a lot. They are in the middle of the bean rows. I didn't even water the beans much. Just the sunflowers.

I am trying yogurt again. I got the milk a little hotter and added more yogurt, plus some of the thin yogurt from the other day. After 24 hours wrapped in the blanket, I'll put them in the fridge. I hope this will work and I get thicker yogurt. I did use the other that I made last week in a smoothie. It was good. But I want nice thick yogurt.

Friday, July 29, 2016


I have been afraid to spin alpaca by itself. I have blended it in with wool while spinning and I love how soft it makes the hand spun yarn. I'm knitting a hat I spun with white wool and black alpaca. It's so soft and pretty. But I have never spun alpaca by itself yet. It's so fine.

But yesterday, after I finished plying the wool-alpaca yarn, I got down the little tote full of the black alpaca I had carded last year. And I started spinning it. And I could do it! And it was fun and pretty easy. It only broke once so far. I am spinning it just like I do my wool, fairly thin. I am loving it!

I already have 2 totes of my alpaca's fiber washed from 34 years ago. I have used the white fiber in with my wool. But never have used Misha's red fiber yet. I threw last year's bag of fiber in the washer yesterday and now it's drying on the rack. After I spin all this black I will start spinning more. I need to wash the 2 bags from this year too.

This should be really pretty when it's spun. And I guess each year will be different.

I still have all of this years wool to get washed. I did wash half of Cameron's wool so far though. She's the black sheep. It really was not all that long though. And after handling alpaca, sheep wool is really rough and course. I may just have to buy some more alpaca from my friend Susan.

And my yogurt did not turn out. I did put it in the fridge just to see what it would do. I'll check it later.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Spinning and yogurt.

I have been working on spinning some wool and alpaca for months now it seems. I finally got another bobbin full and started plying. I have 1 skein done and now working on another. It just seems to take me forever to bet a bobbin full. And I have so much wool to spin!!

This is really pretty and oh so soft too. All from my sheep and Sugar, the alpaca. I really need to just spin plain alpaca by itself one day. I will.

Yesterday I made some goat milk yogurt. My favorite show, Live Free or Die on National Geographic, has come back on. But I missed the first show. I thought it was tonight but it was Monday. I am so upset. But I watched a little video of Amelia making yogurt so I decided to try it.

I wrapped it all up in this blanket and put it on the back porch where it's hot. This morning, it's still warm, but not at all thick yet. That's the problem I have always had with goat milk yogurt. It's never think. I'll leave it and check it again tonight. I may just have some good buttermilk.

And this is some lacto-fermented ginger carrots I made about a month or so ago. I did not like them at first. But now, since they've been in the fridge so long, they are SO good! I love this. But next time I make it, I won't use so much ginger. It's way to spicy for me.  But so good.

Looks like we are in for some good rain. And tomorrow, right around market time, looks like the most is heading our way. So I am thinking about not going. But then if I don't go, it won't rain.   Ugh.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday at home.

It's weird being home right now. Usually on Wednesday my mom and I go out,. We would be eating lunch somewhere right now. But she had an early appointment and my husband needed the truck for his doctor appointment. So I am staying home today.

I mowed already. The yard and garden was looking quite scraggly. So that's done. It's been so dry we hardly need to mow anymore. But there is a chance of rain every day for a week! We might get some. It's funny, the last 2 days it has rained all over the place and up to about 2 miles from our farm, but nothing here. It has rained on the hay fields where I get my round bales though, so I am happy to see that. It was looking pretty bad. He would usually have baled hay at least 2 or 3 times by now and has only baled 1 time this year.

A friend gave me these comfrey plants for some milk a few weeks ago. I put them in the shade til I can figure out where to plant them and almost forgot about them. 4 of the pots only had roots when I got them and now have little ones growing already. I think I'll just plant them over where I had them. They seem to like it there. I can't wait til I can start using this stuff. She said it's really good for animals to eat too.

Does anyone else grow comfrey? What do you do with it? I want to make salves but need to read up on the medicinal benefits of comfrey.

This morning while I was mowing under the pear trees, I noticed the limbs hanging down from all the pears. I saw one that look ripe so picked it and ate it. It was so good. I just love going around the yard or gardens while mowing and picking food. I did that with the blue berries. And figs and apples. So fun!

And just a cool little heart shaped potato I found a few days ago. I love this. And it made some good fried taters too!

For me, the farmers markets have been good this week. I did really good Sunday up on the mountain at the Trading Post. I really like that one. Then yesterday at Audubon Acres I did good too. But some of the other vendors did not. The market manager wanted to have 2 rows facing each other. We have been making an L shape and people really liked it that way. So we did it facing each other yesterday and it was not good for the vendors at the end. Some didn't even sell anything.

So I would love to hear your opinions of farmers markets you go to. How are the vendors spaced out? In 1 long row or facing each other in 2 rows? What do you prefer? And do you usually go to each booth? Or to your favorite booth and leave? I have noticed some people go right straight to their favorite places and never even look at another booth. So just wondered.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday morning milking.

I have started milking the goats outside now, since it's like an oven in the milk room. So til it gets cooler, here we will be milking.

It's so quiet out here. I can hear every insect, frog, bird. I can hear distant neighbors mowing or hammering or chain saws running. It's amazing the sounds I can hear out here. I feel sorry for people who live in cities. I was getting gas last week near downtown Chattanooga on Broad St. Standing there at the pump, it was so noisy. The interstate was just a few blocks away. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, waiting at the lights, were very loud. I looked up in the trees along the road and wondered if there were birds in them. And if they were singing. If they were, no one would hear them there.

I love it out here.